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Did you know.....
75% of of the world's remaining heather moorland is found in Britain - but this area declined alarmingly over the latter part of the last century. The Moorland Association was set up in 1986 to coordinate the efforts of moorland owners and managers to halt this loss, particularly in England and Wales.
Heather moorland provides crucial breeding and feeding grounds for many of Britain's rarest and declining bird species. Over 60% of the 850,000 acres under the responsibility of the Association's members carry internationally important conservation designations.
It is mainly because of grouse shooting that this habitat has been maintained. The red grouse is a moorland bird species unique to Britain, and where moorlands have been managed to preserve it, other rare species also thrive. Large areas of heather were lost to the post-war intensification of farming and forestry, except where grouse shooting was important.
The money generated by grouse shooting is vital to pay for the management of heather moors and to provide local employment. The sport provides the incentive to manage the moors sustainably for the long term, to the benefit of a wide range of other wildlife and at little cost to the taxpayer.
Thanks to the efforts of the Moorland Association and its members, the loss of heather moorland in the North of England had been halted by 2000. Since then it has increased, and the challenge now is to maintain this trend, reverse the continuing decline in other parts of the country and hence safeguard our heather moorlands for the future.
See For Yourself...
Click here to view a picture gallery of some of Britain's most stunning scenery and rare wildlife found in the uplands.